Dr. Marsha Scott. Chief Executive
Dr. Marsha Scott is a feminist activist, researcher and practitioner and has advocated, volunteered, researched, and worked in the violence against women sector in the United Kingdom, the United States and Europe for 30 years. Prior to taking up post at Scottish Women's Aid in April 2015, Marsha worked for 10 years at West Lothian Council, where she helped set up and had strategic responsibility for the West Lothian Domestic and Sexual Assault Team.
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Pervin Ahmad. Service Manager
Pervin Ahmad has been active in supporting women's rights and enabling their active participation for over 20 years in Dundee. She joined the management team of SWA in May 2015 and, as the Service Manager, is working to support and manage the staff team and services.
When not working she enjoys spending time with her extended family in Dundee. She enjoys a walk in the sunshine and pottering in her small garden.
Lydia Okroj. Helpline Co-ordinator
Lydia Okroj took up her current post as the Helpline Co-ordinator at SWA in 2015. She has been active in the Violence Against Women field for over 30 years including working as a support worker with Edinburgh and East Lothian Women’s Aid.
Her current role involves her in managing and co-ordinating the Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline Scotland team and service. She aslo continues working with a range of agencies, policy makers and government departments to improve access to services and service provision for women, children and young people with experience of domestic abuse. Lydia loves shopping for, cooking and eating food, especially when this involves sharing the experience with family and friends.
She says that the one thing she has learned in life is ‘never say never’.
Anne Gribbon. Finance Worker
Anne joined Scottish Women’s Aid in March 2015 as Finance Worker. She has worked in a finance role in the voluntary sector for the past 8 years, and before that spent 14 years working in Corporate Finance for a Bank. She much prefers the Voluntary Sector! In her spare time Anne enjoys going for long walks with her family and climbing the occasional Munro. She volunteers with the Therpaet service, taking her dog to visit elderly people in residential homes. She encourages her children to “Work hard, play hard and be kind” and always tries to do the same herself.
Anne Marie Docherty. Administration Worker
Anne Marie took up her administrative post in April 2016. She worked in Social Work administration for 10 years at City of Edinburgh Council. Her earlier career was mainly in the voluntary sector administering European Structural funds with one stint in the private sector in an accountancy firm. Originally hailing from Glasgow, she crossed the great divide to Edinburgh. Diplomatically, she will say both Glasgow and Edinburgh are great cities. She is always looking for a chat about politics and loves to feel the sun on her face. She believes firmly in the motto that we should treat others as we wish to be treated.
Rosemary Banner. Training Administrator Worker
Rosemary is from Perthshire and began working as the Training Administrator in July 2014. Previous jobs have included care assistant, cook, media monitor and postie. She has worked in the third sector for several years now with jobs at Citizens Advice, Youth Scotland and Carr Gomm. Her main hobbies are gardening and learning to play the fiddle.
Orlaith McAree. Service Development Worker
Orlaith works with our members on the development of services for women, children, and young people. She provides support for members in developing and sharing good practice, and in engaging with key stakeholders. She also promotes good practice amongst external agencies, ensuring that the needs, voice and rights of women, children and young people are heard, enacted and have an impact at both a local and a national level.
She enjoys scrambling around hills, live music and satire. Her favourite quote is, "Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them. Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." - Arundhati Roy
Selma Augestad. Member Services Officer
Selma joined Scottish Women’s Aid in September 2015 as the Member Services Worker to support the Women’s Aid network in being robust, capable and sustainable feminist organisations. She runs the Members Programme and provides tailored support to groups on various issues, mostly related to governance and structure.
Coming from her activism and her background in researching women and feminism in post-war situations, Selma is almost always thinking about how to put feminist principles into practice in all areas of life.
She enjoys art, adventures and dancing to 90’s hip-hop. Her most recent favourite quote is from Assata Shakur: “No movement can survive unless it is constantly growing and changing […]. If it isn’t growing it is stagnant, and without the support of the people, no movement for liberation can exist, no matter how correct its analysis of the situation is”.
Louise Johnson. Legal Issues Worker
Louise Johnson is the Legal Issues Worker at Scottish Women’s Aid. Her background is in business and law and she spent nearly 17 years working in the arena of corporate and personal insolvency, with one of the world’s largest accountancy firms, before joining Scottish Women’s Aid in 2001. Her remit is to raise awareness on the implications of relevant legal issues affecting, and to defend and extend legal rights of, women, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse. Her work at SWA has contributed to significant legislative change in the areas of family and criminal law and she has been a member of a number of high-level policy groups including Lord Coulsfield’s Reference Group reviewing Crown disclosure of evidence in criminal cases, both the Scottish Law Commission and Solicitor General’s Advisory Groups reviewing the law and prosecution of rape and sexual assault and Lord Bonomy’s Post-corroboration Safeguards Review Reference Group.
Jo Ozga. Policy Worker
Jo joined SWA in 2004 as a Policy worker and has been responsible for progressing policy responses in relation to women and children becoming homeless as a result of domestic abuse, this includes supporting the provision of refuge accommodation across Scotland. Other aspects of her role include working with housing providers to develop their practice in responding to domestic abuse and work on the welfare reform proposals that particularly impact on women and children experiencing domestic abuse. Jo has a background in social housing, previously working as a housing manager in a community based housing association where she managed accommodation and support services for a range of vulnerable client groups. Before joining SWA she worked for a project that provided a range of supported accommodation for homeless people with different and often complex needs. Jo finds it really valuable to be able to draw on this previous practical experience to support her in her policy work.
When she’s not working Jo enjoys the trials and tribulations of being an Arsenal fan.
Cheryl Stewart, Research Officer
Cheryl Sutherland Stewart is the Information and Research Worker for Scottish Women’s Aid. She coordinates Census Day activities, develops evaluation tools and techniques for our members, and undertakes research with universities and other organisations to further our understanding of the causes and consequences of domestic abuse. Her passion for this work began 17 years ago while she was a PhD student at Michigan State University. She started out by investigating the links between domestic abuse and women’s health issues, but also ran a community advocacy project for women and provided direct support as a volunteer with a crisis intervention project. Soon after coming to Scotland in 2000, she joined East Fife Women’s Aid, to set-up a rural outreach program and to provide family support services.
When not working, she’s usually outdoors somewhere in Fife; riding Bracken, weeding the allotment, or at the play-park with her two children.
Nel Whiting. Learning and Development Coordinator
Nel is a Learning and Development Coordinator with Scottish Women’s Aid, where she has worked since September 2003. Her role takes her throughout Scotland providing learning opportunities which explore the dynamics of domestic abuse to a range of professionals in the voluntary and statutory sector. Nel is a regular lecturer at the Scottish Police College, the Scottish Probation College and Stirling University. She also teaches on the Queen Margaret University ‘Gender Justice’ module. She is author of “What Can Contemporary Gender Theory Contribute to An Understanding of Abuse in Same Sex Relationships?” which was published in the Scottish Journal of Criminal Justice Studies 2008, Asking About Abuse: Routine Enquiry of Domestic Abuse and Childhood Sexual Abuse Training Pack (with Cosgrove & Beavon) which was published by the Scottish Government Health Directorate in 2011, and “Effecting Operational Change Through Training: Challenges and Approaches” in N.Lombard and L. McMillan (eds.) (forthcoming, 2012) Research Highlights in Social Work: Violence Against Women, Jessica Kingsley Publications.
Nel’s favourite painting is David Allan’s portrait of the family of Sir John Halkett.
Ash Kuloo. Learning and Development Coordinator
Ash joined the team at Scottish Women’s Aid in May 2008 as a Learning and Development Coordinator. Her role is to ensure that workforce development in relation to training, learning and qualifications is prioritised for Women’s Aid workers. She is the assessor for the Women’s Aid in Scotland National Service standards. Ash has previously worked within the statutory sector in a number of different roles and in the private sector. She moved to the voluntary sector in a paid post as Project Manager in January 2003 within a Black Minority Ethnic Refuge in Sheffield. In May 2006 she joined a Women’s Aid group in Scotland as Change Manager.
Ash has also been an active board member for Saheliya in Edinburgh, Sheffield Women’s Therapy and Counselling service and SASH Domestic Abuse group in Halifax. Ash also volunteered for Women’s Aid and the Citizens Advice Bureau in Huddersfield. Ash loves going to India to visit family and enjoys the hotter climate. She would like to see more of India and experience the different cultures and hopes one day she can work in a project in India - she is particularly passionate about working with homeless children.
Sam Jelf, Helpline Volunteer Co-ordinator
Sam is from Leeds but after attending University in Edinburgh (several years ago) she fell in love with the city and decided to relocate here in 2012.
Sam trained to be an actress and following this spent many years on the road with educational and training based theatre companies which took her all over the UK – the Outer Hebrides being one of her many highlights!
For the past several years Sam has facilitated behavioural training workshops for public and private sector organisations and more recently began working in the third sector as a Volunteer Co-ordinator, a role she loves and feels very passionately about.
Sam loves spending time with her family in native Yorkshire whenever she can, cooking and discovering great new places to eat with friends.
Emily Martin, Employability Co-ordinator
Emily started as Employability Co-ordinator with Scottish Women’s Aid in June 2016. In this new role she will co-ordinate Building Equality, a joint employability project led by Scottish Women’s Aid and closely working with sister organisations Close the Gap and Engender.
Before joining Scottish Women’s Aid Emily worked with the Association of Chief Officers of Scottish Voluntary Organisations (ACOSVO) where she co-ordinated a knowledge exchange programme for public service leaders. Before that she developed the Women in Renewable Energy Scotland (WiRES) network at Close the Gap, and worked as an activist with Hollaback! Edinburgh, the movement to end street harassment.
Emily enjoys exploring Scotland, listening to podcasts, and discussing intersectional feminism and politics with friends.
Gillian Harrold, Employability Administrator
Gillian started as Administrator for Building Equality in November, 2016. In this new role she works with Emily to co-ordinate Building Equality, an innovative employability project funded by the Scottish Government and co-ordinated by Scottish Women’s Aid in partnership with Close the Gap and Engender.
Before joining Scottish Women’s Aid Gillian worked for Pilton Community Health Project and thoroughly enjoys working in the voluntary sector.
Brenna Jessie, External Affairs Officer
Brenna started as External Affairs Officer at the end of June. She is a Scottish feminist activist and sociology graduate who specialised in gender and media. She has been a member of the No More Page 3 team since January 2014 and was co-founder of grassroots campaigning group No More Page 3 Edinburgh. Brenna has worked in Politics since September 2015 campaigning for the Holyrood elections and co-running the Scottish Greens’ European Referendum campaign. She is totally thrilled to be working as part of the movement to end violence against women. In her spare time she enjoys pretending she can surf, taking on (slightly ridiculous) exercise challenges and excessively watching Gilmore Girls/Orphan Black/Buffy.
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Non-consensual sharing of intimate media (NCSIM) is a form of abuse
Facts & Figures
On one day in 2012, 349 women and 323 children were living in refuge (SWA 2012)